Mike and Courtnee Stevenson have been dreaming about it for months: the day their babies are big enough and healthy enough to thrive on their own, with the help of mom and dad and a supportive community.
Aniston, who is one month old, and barely five pounds is the first to be ready to go. Doctors say her three sisters and one brother won't be far behind.
The babies are all healthy and thriving in the special care nursery at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. They should all be home within the next two weeks.
The pregnancy certainly tested the Stevenson family. The couple became pregnant with the help of fertility drugs. They did not plan on becoming pregnant with five.
Though they were encouraged to reduce the number of babies, Courtnee depended on her strong faith and determination to carry all five as long as she could. She was sick on bedrest for weeks and then spent months in the hospital on medication to stop contractions. It was a difficult time away from their three year old daughter Lili. But Courtnee managed to carry the babies for 32 weeks, and the quints arrived a month ago, weighing between two and four pounds.
"We're in new territory here with quintuplets," said Dr. Terrence Sweeney outside the Swedish special care nursery. "I've met the parents and think they can handle it just fine. But having five brand new babies is a challenge for anybody."
Mike Stevenson is thrilled to be able to help with the babies, after so many months of waiting by Courtnee's side. He's busy in the nursery, changing diapers, giving bottles, and taking temperatures.
Two of the babies, Camille and Weston, still have feeding tubes, so they get bottles or breast feed every third time. Mike says, "It's nice to have a job!" Even big sister Lili is learning to help, getting to feed her tiny brother Weston for the first time, with dad and a nurse supervising.
But Courtnee may be the busiest. Though the babies are getting some formula in bottles, she's trying to breast feed all the babies so they each get some breast milk.
"When I'm up here, I go from one to the next and then we go get something to eat," she says. "Then I nurse the next few, and then it's all about diapers!"
Courtnee's sister has volunteered to set up a computer spread sheet to keep track of the babies when they all come home. That way they'll know who's been fed, how much they've eaten, and when their diaper was changed.
The Stevenson's will be moving in with Mike's mother for now, since they don't have a house that's big enough for all of them.
"We're not in a house yet, but we've cleared out a bedroom and a bathroom and that's about it for now", says Courtnee. "It's going to be a huge amount of stress, but there's the stress of not having your kids around you. Even though you know they're being well taken care of and they're safe, you feel lost within yourself. You just don't feel right."
Now some of that stress is about to disappear, but there will be plenty of new challenges.
The New Life Church of Silverdale is helping to coordinate volunteers and donations for the family. They need new cribs and highchairs, bouncy chairs, swings, diapers, binkies, and strollers for all five babies. If you'd like to help, check out their website, 5ontheway.com.
And stay tuned for more updates this month, when all the babies are home.